Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wherever the wind blows

It's weird, I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that just this morning I was having breakfast with my brother in Vernon and right now I'm just sitting down for dinner in Hope just over 400 km away. It feels like it was days ago now!

According to Google maps it's only a 3 day and 13 hour walk *giggles* it does say it's in beta though ;)

*shakes head* it's kind of been a crazy day, I'm looking forward to seeing my family though, and hopefully get a visit in with an old friend of mine :)

The drive was absolutely beautiful. Sunkissed mountain peaks, a view affordable to only the obscenely wealthy... and I got to drive through it all day!

I'm spoiled, I know ;)


Is thinking that you're out of oatmeal, and then finding an unopened box of Dino egg oatmeal hiding in the back of the cupboard!


Sent... While in transit ;)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Please fasten your restraining devices

I'm pretty sure that this is where I get my power of understatement...

From the Captain:

I'm supposed to be in the doldrums motoring but I have "weather" which is pushing me through though I just had to discover how to furl in the pitch black in 20+ k.  I can, I did.  Got wet in the warm rain.  It always happens when I'm on the radio watch, and mostly I let the boat ride it through, but tonight it was getting a bit wild.  Hit 9+k in the glance at the chart plotter I gave it.  Probably higher but I was busy.

Take care - equator the day after tomorrow, port Friday if all goes well.

Regarding your question

IM tracking boats from AZ and i was wondering if you are va7dgv and if you are i was wondering if you can please send me some info about your baot like the crew size and some fun facts.thank you.

Dear Anonymous:

My father is VA7DGV, but I was sailing with him for the first leg of his journey from Victoria BC down the western coast of the United States to San Diego CA. I am back at work, however I've been continuing to post notes and snippits of emails, as I receive them.

The boat's name is Marimba 2, it's a one-of McGrath 35' sailing vessel... and it's unique kind of like it's current Captain ;) For more detail on the boat itself, please see the link at the top of the menu on the left titled "The Marimba 2"

He's currently single-handing his way towards French Polynesia, and beyond that is anyone's guess... but if you have any other questions please don't hesitate to email me at

Thanks for your note, it made my day :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This is your Captain speaking

I'm truly fed up with sailing this trip. It's hot and muggy, and I'm making good progress but still. I'm about 10 days to go, 2/3's there. Just coming up on the doldrums and the equator - I think I'm far enough west that the band of poor wind is about as narrow as can be expected - I'll motor through. I meet Joan at Marqueses and she'll spend about 3 weeks with me, and we'll work our way to Tahiti. From there, I have to decide if I head north for Hawaii and home, or continue. I do know that I do not like the long haul like this one is. the sailing has been easy, straight downwind, same sail, same course etc. for days and days. See what happens, but certainly looking forward to the end of this leg, a shower, a beer and some company. I hate hot.

Hope you had a good long weekend. Wonder if you still want to add another leg to your sailing or if you had enough last fall and are just way to polite to say so?

The phosphoresence was amazing last night. Light rain and squally this afternoon. I need a shower.

That's about it.

Take care of yourself. Give Dan a call and find out why he's sick again. That boy - I have to wonder if he's burning the candle at both ends and burning himself out. I gather you'll all get together soon. Miss you all.

Love Dad
I haven't decided yet Dad, but I miss sailing... and I miss you too. I'll ask Dan tomorrow ;)
Love Sam

Je ne sais what?

Dear Apple

Bonjour: Just because you say something in the lovely language of french while sacking my functioning operating system doesn't make it any more polite, besides "Au revoir" would have been more appropriate.

Wanna go ride bikes?!?

I am such a bad blogger... I can't believe I haven't posted the adventures from two whole weekends ago!

This would be the same weekend that I took the winter tires off my car, in the morning, on a Sunday... with plans to go biking that afternoon.  My friend picked me up around 2:30, we loaded the bike, stopped and unloaded the kids and saw with some trepidation the ugly looking storm cloud that was in the vicinity of where we were going to ride bikes.

We got to the parking lot and I was immediately thankful for the sweatpants I'd thrown on... with the thought that if I got too warm I could always take them off. I'm a wet-coast girl, my Dad taught me it's all about layers. I was particularly thankful for my layers when it started to snow.

This is about where the group mentality kicked in, and we all laughed nervously and said it's okay, it'll stop soon. It's not that bad, it's not wet and sticking to everything... if we just keep moving our fingers will warm up. Right? Right. We carried on, a half hour later it stopped snowing. See we were totally right!

During one of our rest stops I realized my bike tire had a hernia?!? I guess that's what happens when you try to lift something that's too heavy for you... no, I'm not trying to say I'm getting fat. Somehow I managed to slash the outer tire without pucturing the innertube... no worries, duct tape fixes *everything*

Well my Red-Green quick fix lasted the entire 2 hour ride! We could have done without logging road grade shot rock in the middle section, but other than that it was a fantastic ride :) and not 5 mins after we got in the truck the temperature dropped from 12 degrees to 3 degrees and a torrential downpour started with some sleet thrown in for good measure.

Such an awesome day!

The Easter bunny's got a sidekick... or two

The weekend of the season in Revelstoke and I forgot my ski boots *and* my helmet... and you know something? It surprises me a little bit that I can say this, but I'm totally okay with it *smiles*

I definitely picked up a cold from my best friends place, but I was there all weekend being sneezed, drooled and snotted on, but I wouldn't change that for the world. The best one was "Here Sam hold the baby..." and just as I picked him up under the arms he sneezed on me! Awwwww thanks buds. So no, I'm not really that surprised I'm sick.

There's nothing like waking up vaguely aware that it's Saturday morning. To overhear her Mom telling Little Feet, that it's not time to get up yet... and "You can go back to bed or go snuggle with Sam." Then hearing the little feet make their way over to my side of the bed... Prying open half an eyeball, just enough to see two eyes bright enough to make you wince against the sparkle. And a shy little grin that tugged a smile onto my face despite the hour. Scooping her up into bed, she snuggled down inside my heart somewhere and we napped for another whole hour before we got up *smiles*

I also got to be the Easter bunny's sidekick and I absolutely loved it. Okay... It's a close second to waking up and finding that the Easter bunny has visited, but it's still pretty damn cool. I think we had more fun trying to sneak around the living room, and up the squeaky stairs hiding chocolates than Little Feet did finding them ;)

Sunday morning I woke up to "bunny terds" *plick* *plock* *plunk*'ing down wooden stairs... and the sound of Little Feet scampering around, followed immediately by a pause of footsteps and the scritchy shredding of foil wrapped chocolate eggs...

It was too cute, Little Feet was so matter of fact about it... "The Easter bunny came, and he throwed candies everywhere!" - with an adamant frisbee throwing motion to punctuate the statement.

One of the best things about being the fun Auntie? I have a blast goofing around, get the kid all riled up on a sugar high and then give them back when they crash and burn.

Feature request

Dear Word... I think my Dad needs an "intent check" as opposed to a spell check. He composed a note to pass on to Granny referring to his old girlfriend, you know the one who used to be a 'stripper' at the hospital.

It was a position they created to help weed out the weak hearted patients from the strong ones, but it was eliminated when they discovered it only worked on men...

Geek Emergency

While I was house sitting a few weeks ago I got this semi-verging-on-stressed phone call from the owner of the house.

I quickly discovered there was nothing immediately wrong, he admitted he was having a "Geek Emergency"... He had looked everywhere he could think of, and he couldn't find the USB key he had with all of his XBox save games on it! In case you have no idea, this is kind of a big deal!

I started wandering through his office and the man-cave searching for it... and then I paused and thought. "If I were him... where would I put it?"

*finger snap*

IN MY PANTS POCKET! *buffs nails* That's right, emergency averted ;) He blamed it all on his wife as mere moments before they left she looked him up and down and said "You're not wearing *those* pants are you?"

A wise woman once said

I was talking to a friend about dressing up little girls, and it brought to mind something my Granny said. That whenever she made dresses she always made matching diaper covers...
"That way they look just as good upside down as they do right side up"

Adventures with Telus

I had no idea it would be such a big deal to get internet...

I deliberated, I waffled... I didn't need one convenient package. I have a cell phone, it makes a home phone kind of redundant... and if I had cable I would never get anything done.

I have no idea what the heck I'm going to get charged for it, but the good news is that one day Mom you will be a grandmother, I didn't trade my first born for a free xbox 360.

Anyways once I finally decided to make an executive decision and just make it all happen... I found out it would take a month to get a tech dude in to hook it all up. Seriously.

Apparently Telus is pulling the fiber optic cable as you sign up for it... So when they do their little check thingee and say "Oooh! Fiber is available in your area :)" just stick to the raisin bran.

Enter new best friend Paul. I meet him at my place... during regular working hours and he starts doing his thing... An hour later he's done everything he can without access to the electrical room.

Right, see distracted by the internet... just got an email from Dad ;)

So I get him organized with my landlady, another visit which totalled somewhere around 4 hours which luckily she was there for, and I have wireless.

I'm not exactly sure what happened but somewhere my brains must have fallen out of my head, and I let new best friend Paul set up "The Internets" *hair flip* on my laptop.

*cue Napolean Dynamite* "IDIOT!!!"

I had to uninstall the entire Telus security suite, it was making my computer so slow it felt like it was 7 years old rather than 2.

I appreciate that you want everyone to practice safe browsing, but I do that already thanks... and I have my own security set up.

No, thank you... Really... I don't need your sheep gut condom.


I feel like 3 day leftover moderately re-heated to luke warm in a microwave death.

Man of few words

From the Captain

Saw my first albatross today, circled the boat awhile at 10 to 20 m. Neat.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Yeah Nucks!

*happy dance*

THAT WAS SO AWESOME!!! Nothing like drawing out every last drop.. and THEN some! *shakes head* Sheesh 2-1 in OT, finished off game 7 with an AMAZING goal by Burrows!

Onward to Round 2 and Nashville!!! It's so worth the sore throat I will have tomorrow, but it's okay I earned it *grins*

#gocanucks trending globally I am so proud to be Canadian :D

Monday, April 25, 2011

Home is where the wireless is

To quote my best friend's daughter's favorite movie while she waves a barbie in circles in the air...


Wait for it... wait for it... I promise, it will melt. Eventually.

Only in Revelstoke do they spend all winter shoveling the snow off the sidewalks and roads... only to shovel it *back* onto the road during the first few sunny days of spring!

I mean you'd think they'd be tired of shoveling by now, but I think it's like when you stop drinking coffee... it takes time to ease yourself out of it... Just a few days of warm weather to get to the where you can sit back yard with a beer and enjoy it, without having that feeling looming over you, you know that one saying you should be shoveling Right. Now. *twitch twitch*

I sure hope they get to the roadwork season soon though, the potholes are big enough to eat my shocks for breakfast!

Nom nom nom.

Also from the Captain...

Also 4 days ago...

The sailing is going well but I'm tired of the motion.  Tomorrow noon is the half way point.  I can't seem to get the vane to work so I'm relying on the Ahelm - hope it holds out.  Weird gear failure - there's a little knob thing on a short bit of stainless wire rope on the furling gear.  It's used to guide the sail edge into the foil on the headstay - so it just flops about except when you're raising a sail.  Anyway, I went forward and it's gone!  the wire bit is shredded.  Why???  Anyway, it's not really critical but I'll need to get another.

In the meantime, I flog south.

From the Captain...

He actually sent this to me 4 days ago, but I've been a little delinquent... my apologies.

Just thought of you while the boat is surging along in the dark.  It's inky black out there, but a nice night with steady wind.  Doing about 5+ k with just the genoa (70% of) up.  the boat is behaving well.  did something dumb - tried the food preservation suggestion from Lynn Pardey that didn't sound right - make a stew type dish, leave it in the pot and re=heat daily for 5 min at the boil and it'll be fine.  NOT.  Made stew night before last, had it again last night after reheating as suggested = my tummy did not like.  I think I gave myself a (fortunately) very minor dose of food unhappiness.  Not try that again.  I'm fine, but ate lightly and carefully today.

It was a lovely afternoon - sunny and bright and the wind came up.  I think I may be in for something though, despite the forecast of more of the same.  There was cirrus cloud, and a boat on the net ahead of me a couple of days is reporting different wind speed and direction that I have, and than the charts and forecast suggest.  We'll have to see.

Not much else.
take care


Why do you drive a standard?

A couple weeks ago I dragged my friend out bed shopping... so last week she dragged me out car shopping. I think I got the better end of the deal ;)

Anyways part way through, the sales guy - new best friend Tom, asked us very seriously

Tom: "Now, what is it that you prefer about a manual transmission..."
me: "Uhhh cause nobody else can drive it?!?!"
Tom: classic comic book thought bubble popping...  *

It was awesome! He was sooo ready with a comeback for just about any reason we had... or so he thought *grins*

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How to make potato salad.

By Sam

Okay so first you need to find a grocery store, one that isn't too big because you're going to have to walk around it a few times... for like an hour. You will also need access to good friend you can text message repeatedly to check important things... like if Western Family Dijon mustard is okay (it is), or if you need non-pareilles capers or surfines (the non kind)... or if it matters whether you get Florida white potatoes or Tommy's Tiny Taters Yellow... (it really doesn't matter)

Next carry your purchases into the place where you will be preparing the salad. Unpack enough things to remember that you didn't get all the fresh herbs because they didn't have them at the small grocery store you shopped at.

Have a friend fry up the bacon, and cook the potatoes while you run down to the nearest grocery store. Make a complete tour of the grocery store.  Give up, ask the nice man that works there where the fresh herbs are.

Attempt to follow the recipe, while thinking about riding bikes, lasagna, the newest visiting nephew, riding bikes, Dad sailing and the fact that you forgot to pick up Dijon mustard after asking what kind you needed... interlaced with background conversation... and hoping that you don't forget anything important while reading it out of order.

Remove the potatoes from the burner that you've left the on for too long, drain and leave in sink.

Continue assembling ingredients until you are moderately organized.

Read through the recipe one last time, and condense it into easy to follow directions: Chop potatoes into bowl, pour in vinegar mixture attempting to coat all potatoes, fold in everything else... gently.

Quickly quality test it while nobody is looking to ensure it wont have any harmful side effects, like those listed after TV medications including death.

After it has been served, wait until the first few bites meet with approval before you declare "It's like a surprise in every bite!" You can consider it officially approved when your test subjects connoisseurs go back for seconds and declare it in no uncertain terms "Superly surprising and extremely bad-ass culinary triumph!"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


A new personal best, 2hr potato salad :)
It's like a surprise in every bite!

Stand back!

I'm going to try... Cooking :)


The word of the day yesterday was anti-motivational.

So you know how I was all excited that it "smelled like ball season"... well yesterday it "smelled like ski season", which considering we're' nearing the end of April is just completely uncalled for. Don't the weather gods know it's time for a new spring outfit? Quit trying them on, only to exchange them for your comfy winter sweatpants, already and just pick one! I dashed up to the ball field with my dinner of champions (subway), and I have to say I've never been so happy to see the MoHo.

It was fricken freezing Mr. Bigglesworth! And as I sat in the MoHo eating my dinner, it began to snow... now I love playing ball, but I was so not into it last night. By the time we'd warmed up, and then waited for the other team to get their poop in a group we'd all cooled down again.

And standing out their with my borrowed cleats and glove I felt like a little kid on the neighbours back lawn playing with a tennis ball and using a hockey stick handle for a bat... trying to hit it onto the road because it would roll further!

The tone for the game was... "E", for error. My sweatpants made for a nice drag chute, and I was too hot with my sweatshirt on, but it was too damn cold and windy to take it off... and while I know that it shouldn't matter what equipment you have, I missed a ball that I touched, that I *should* have had... hands down.


We're just not even going to talk about my hitting... it was so bad, but the kind where people on the other team, who don't know how I usually hit, tell me it's a nice hit. Which is like winning the consolation prize, you still smile and nod and say thanks... but really you're stretching your good sportsmanship beyond it's ultimate tensile strength.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One stripe at a time

I see your half yellow belt and I raise you... One stripe! *happy dance*

Happy Birthday Dad!

I don't know for sure, but I'm wondering if my Dad knows when his birthday is...

One year he moped around the house because he thought we'd forgotten it, and this year he commented to Mom that yesterday he only got birthday wishes from Ben... and that I'd sent him something about biking.

Dad, I didn't forget your birthday... I was just waiting until your *actual* birthday before I sent you birthday wishes. I hope your birthday cake turns out, eat a piece for me!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Uhhmmm good thing I changed out of my winter tires this weekend... yeah... awesome.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I'm 3. iPhone Auntie Sam!

Hahaha my friend's kid just called me on facetime, it's a good thing I have call display because it came up as a black screen.

Little voice: "Hello?"
I soon realized that I was talking to the little voice unsupervised and asked where his mommy was...
Little voice: "kitchen"

In the background I hear his Mom from the kitchen: "Hey buddy, who are you talking to?"

Little voice:"No!"

He showed me his paintings... and the fresh snow outside... and his little piggy toes (which got a giggle when I called them that)... and the new curtains in the livingroom, up close and personal I might add ;)

Sooooo awesome, that was the best Friday morning phone call EVAR!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Positive reinforcement... like chocolate

It's pretty cool when after you've decided to make some changes in your life, a close friend says:
 "Don't take this the wrong way, but you've changed since your trip... I mean, not that you were bad before or anything... you're just different now"
It's such a good feeling, to be able to smile and say thanks, understanding what they meant at a deeper level than just their words.  Just the fact that they brought it up, means they've noticed more than a little bit, and it's pretty special that they thought it was important enough to say something about it.

Moments... Moments like this should be soaked up. The way solar powered kitties collect sunshine on their belly's.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Take... me out to the ball game

So you know how I'm not playing ball this year? Well we had our first game of the season yesterday...

My first hit of the season felt pretty good, totally burned the right fielder *grins* I was feeling a little awkward playing with borrowed equipment. Like a gangly teenage boy who looks like it's first day with his new go-go gadget arms and legs.

I know, I know... not playing ball right. Lets just say it's a compromise. I'm not playing on 4 different teams in two different leagues alternating between ladies and co-ed... and I'm not playing on weekends. I drew the line this year, I want my weekends to myself.

Maybe do some camping, some biking, you know... something other than ball tournaments and partying. Sounds so grown up eh? Hah! Don't let my mature outlook fool you, I'm sure having my weekends free this year will just open the floodgates for all those other crazy things I didn't have time for last year ;)

Captains Log

This is the Captain speaking:

Just to let you know, I'm fine, blasting along under headsail only.  I have the vane steering working and it seems ok.  Took a bit to work up the energy to try it.  The boat is doing well, so far doing 120 nm/day or better, which is better than I expected.  Lots of motion but it's pretty comfortable.

Did a dumb thing yesterday.  I put the companionway hatch cover in the cockpit since I didn't expect to leave it out of the door long. A wave hit, I lost balance and the cover fell to the deck, just ahead of my foot.  Crack.  It's shot.  I patched it with some plywood and it'll hang toghether until I can replace it.

The sea color is quite incredible.  Vibrant blue green when the sun is out, the water clarity is phenomenal.  When the sun is not out, it's an ominous grey green.  Saw a couple of shearwaters today, the first life for a couple of days though there were a lot of dolphins fairly close inshore.  Winds have been up and down,

Anyway, got to go a get ready for the net.  BTW, the radio is working great.  Talked to a guy in Courtenay last night as part of the net, as well as Arizona, Utah, northern Washington, Hawaii, and New Zealand.

Excerpt from an email to Mom:
Not much I can add - I'm not squirrely yet. Pass my best on to the kids.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Look out black belt, here I come

Even if they actually give this to everybody... I'm tickled pink! I'll admit it, my ego appreciates it. Besides deep deep down I know it would be sooooo cool to learn bo staff! I think nun-chucks might not be such a good idea for me, I'd be like the kid that's whipping it around and looking super pro till he knocks himself out.

I'm already a hazard in action, luckily for the general public its usually confined to my person. Can you imagine the chaos that could ensue if I were armed?!?!

Situation, about normal

In order to maintain the authenticity the following statement shall be presented in its unedited form. While reading it, imagine trying to type using a moving keyboard with your eyes closed while the room spins... I'd say he's doing pretty well actually!

From the Captain

Going well - wind is 15+ knots which is high enough to be interesting. Boat handles it well. It's been qn intersting day in that I discovered that the valve at the head discharge broke when I tried to open it switchng from holding tank to overboard the other day. Anyway, made a mess diagnosing the problem but there's nothing to be done about it until I get some where I can haul or beach - probably the latter. When I get closer I'll send yuo a list of parts required. Not a big deal, I have a bucket. Got out and checking gear and found the reefing line hanging loose. The sheet for the genny chafed over it and cut it. That's an easy fix and somethng to watch for - in the interim I put in the next reef and I'm still going 5.5 to 7 knots, so it seems that 2 reefs are probably what I should be running anyway.

That's about it - rocking and rolling on a beam reach with seas of 2 m. Saw false dawn this morinng = something I've heard about but never quite understood. About 2 hours before dawn the eastern sky got a bright orange bar like the sin was rising for a few minutes and the it disappeared. The water is neat - very clean and an icy looking blue green. Hard to describe.

I'm fine, tummy is fine. On course and generally averaging better than expected speed, whch if this holds should be on schedule or a day early but way to early to tell. The planner figured 24 days at 5 k average speed - which I thought was a bit much. Seems ok just now.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Please don't have to sneeze... please?

I'm not sure who's bright idea it was to have a ball practice *before* wallyball playoffs because man am I stiff today... The first time swinging a bat since last season, and I should know better, I really should. There's really no excuse, this happens every year... I just don't have a 'warm up' swing... I start the season swinging for the fence.

It hurts to sneeze, it hurts to laugh... it hurts to shiver! My entire core and supporting muscles are all writing strongly worded letters to my governing committee questioning my sanity. But sitting here in my padded office chair I feel alive. Damage reports have all come back with negligible problems, nothing preventing the jump to light speed. It's just a not so gentle reminder that I did something this weekend, and I'm proud to say I earned every single one of those stiff muscles.

And he's off!

Captain's log:

It's cold out there so I spent most of the day in the boat. I'm settling into a routine of sorts. Checking into the radio net is a long and painful exercise. It'll be an hour listening after the initial check in, waiting for my slot to report...

Anyway, making good speed if not altogether comfortable.

Editors Note: This report was edited for readability, nothing that would compromise the intent of the message was changed. (Besides, I know how hard it is to type while the boat is moving)

It takes awhile to load but you can see position reports via winlink again yipee!!! Way to go Dad :)

Friday, April 08, 2011

You have gotta be kidding

It's the beginning of April this is so not acceptable!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Why programmers shouldn't have phones

So I'm checking my annual phone message at work. It's not entirely forbidden but it's not exactly encouraged that I talk to customers... I'm a programmer and therefor socially challenged, or otherwise lacking in terms of customer service etiquette ;)

Anyways that's not the funny part. The funny part is that while I'm listening to my voicemail options drone on in the pre-recorded voice...

Press 1 to review your messages (no, actually I just called to see what you were up to this evening)... *rolls eyes*
Press 2 to randomly forward this message to someone else to deal with...
Press 3 to...

*attention span of a goldfish*

Press 77 to... *thinking* Damn, I must have missed the option I wanted... and when did we get all the way up to 77?

"To hang up, press the pound key"... waitaminutewhat!?! I have to press a button to hang up and *then* hang up? Hah! Yeah well I'm such a rebel I'm just going to hang up! How do you like that! You don't? Well, I'd like to know what exactly you are going to do about it!?!?

So there.

From the Captain

Sitting quietly at the San Diego Police Dock listening to cellophane crackling like fire under the boat. It's the constant noise of the pistol shrimp. Came into San Diego here, and somehow it's appropriate that this is where I spend the last night before heading off.

The last nearly two weeks have been "busy and wait". Arrived and got the transmission, and I was slow and didn't get it installed the next day. In the course of installation, I found a shaft bearing also gone so I hauled off the parts to the experts, and they ordered new bearings.

The weekend interfered, then the parts didn't arrive, then we found they were wrong. Finally got the parts and the assembly is put together and another weekend arrives. I'm working around and find another issue - so I deliver that to get addressed. No mechanic. Monday we have mechanic and parts - and he get's into and discovers a broken bracket and engine mount. In addition, he has disparaging things to say about the installation and some changes that really should be required.

That day is shot.

Fortunately, the mounts are stock and the bracket can be welded and beefed up. The next day, he and I work all day to install the engine mounts, lift the (250 Kg) engine up to do this, skid it back on the stringers to provide an extra 25 mm for a plastic disc to provide some vibration isolation and some flexibility, put it all together, do the line up and test it. Long, hard day - but it's done except for cutting off the excess end of the shaft so I can button up the engine compartment.

I check out of the marina, clean things up and get in a sweat to get going. Why am I getting stressed out and anxious? Is this why I went cruising? I only really need to get to the boatyard dock around 9 in the morning - so, I take a breath and stop. I'm staying the night and leaving in the morning fairly early.

Have a beer with John on Prudence and just chat - cruising, why we have boats, about happiness and people who work at making a lot of money but can't take the time to holiday and aren't at all happy. Stress, and the ills of western social structures, especially in the US. We covered health care, education, the military and the national budget. Much more sensible than rushing off.

Got away in the morning and got up to the yard. While they dealt with the shaft I headed out walking and on public transit to deal with Customs and Border Protection - I had to sign off my cruising permit and "clear". Three and a half hours of public transport and walking for perhaps 10 minutes in the office and one piece of paper - there really has to be a better way.

Back at the boat, motored around to top up with propane. It's now mid afternoon and the weather is squally and overcast. Good call to deal with the propane - that bottle was nearly empty.

Decided I wasn't really happy about leaving - partly it's hit me the magnitude of the undertaking and I'm intimidated with that.

I've been here before though, with work as much as anything when I've bitten off a project that seems to be beyond me. Always got through, and did some of my best work "on the edge". Indeed, I seem to have made a specialty of being out there - and this isn't that different.

Anyway, decided to stay another night so that I would have a full day of daylight to get off the coast and out of the bulk of the coastal traffic. Stayed at the police dock and that brings me back to where I started peacefully listening to the shrimp. Calm, quite, comfortable. Warm and well fed.

This is why I'm here and why I'm going cruising.

So, managed the 4 km hike to Starbucks for a coffee - and more importantly a decent internet connection from which I phoned home, and also updated my Airmail software. Home again, suppered and done for the day.

Tomorrow early, I really am away.


Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Women are Angels

And when someone breaks our wings, we simply continue to fly... on a broomstick.
We are flexible like that.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

This is my back yard

Solving all the world's problems in a weekend

The foods we have eaten this weekend have bordered on indecent... I should be going to church to repent the impure thoughts I've been having.

The divine smells emanating from the marinating steaks in the fridge, the chocolate chip cookies in the oven... the tastes and textures of the infamous newly invented potato salad as each bite has a party in your mouth and then tells you to invite it's friends.

The feeling of being full, but having just enough room for one more bite... Planning each meal down to the intimate details far in advance of actually having to prepare it...

Mmmmmm noms *dreamy smile*

I mean really if the entire world started their morning the way we did this morning, there would be no war. Everyone would be snuggled up with a smile on their face napping!

I'm not going to lie, I've run out of wonderful words to describe the fantastically fabulous food we've had this weekend.

Saturday, April 02, 2011


So I know this is way behind schedule... but I've been busy busy this week with Tae Kwon Do!

Anyways we got our poop in a group last Sunday, and as we were juggling our bikes and associated stuff out to the truck... I stop. Realizing that there is suspiciously light fluffly looking white stuff falling from the sky.

Yeah, that's right. It's snowing. I look at my roommate and go "Really?" He just kind of shrugged with half a goofy grin on his face with a "Why not?". Alrighty then, here we go! I was pleasantly surprised to find that we weren't the only ones crazy enough to go out riding in "this kind of weather"

This is about where Nate shucked his pants deciding he was hot enough to ride in shorts. He's not from around here ;)

It was awesome! We had a great ride, ditching our bikes for a bit once we past the point I had ridden with other people and hiked it to see where the trail went. Promptly after retrieving our bikes I got my first bail of the season out of the way... in particular it highlight every facet of my ever present grace.

Okay I'm totally lying.  Nate had slowed down to navigate a switchback that didn't have a nice berm to ride around... and I slowed down and stopped dangerously close to the edge of the trail behind him, which would have been fine except that the nimrods in charge of my balance decided we should dismount on the lack of trail side.

Luckily I wasn't clipped in or we would have had a repeat of the Kemper incident. I managed to throw myself up and over my bike more or less without tripping over it. Only to land and promptly stumble across the trail and land sprawled out on the opposite side.  Mom I'm pretty sure you meant for my middle name to be Grace didn't you?

It was so much fun, the trail down had flow, and we saw a gaggle of 7 wild turkeys! They scurried up over the hill away from us much like a stampeding herd of buffalo... it was soooo cool. The air rushing past my helmet, the sound of my bike tread chewing up the trail and spitting it back out again... breaking through the surrounding silence of snow falling in the forest.

We finished the day off with a hot chocolate from Tim Hortons *grins* I totally deserved it, and I would like to declare this bike season officially open!

Friday, April 01, 2011

I like big trucks :)

Okay so you heard about the shenanagins last week with my roommate and his truck, and the subsequent musical cars... well Saturday I helped him install the new starter, and by helped I mean he did most of the work and then I held it in flush while he did the bolts up.

After that though he let me drive it around town *huge grin* It's an old Toyota 4Runner, with a turbo, modified air intake... and with my limited understanding of trucks and kits I finally asked what he hadn't modified on it. I can't tell you what they were but you can count them on one hand. I have to say, his truck is A LOT of fun to drive!

Ended up in the tulies on every side of town, and showed him where a bunch of bike trails started... it was awesome!

We agreed that we should go biking the next day...

Thought for yesterday

If I could teach you to look at yourself through others eyes, and see your own potential I would. Its amazing what you can do when someone believes in you, but the possibilities are endless when you believe in yourself.


*happy dance* I passed my belt test!!!

I still don't know what order the belts go in... but I'm a half yellow belt *grins* and I know that the next one is a full yellow belt!